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Getting Started with WordPress

If you are having problems logging into WordPress ...
We are aware that some users are having trouble logging into WordPress from within UVaCollab. We are currently working to solve the problem. In the meantime, we suggest contacting SHANTI ( to create or load your site.


All members of the UVa community - faculty, staff, students - who can create sites in UVaCollab (or anyone who has administrative privileges in an existing UVaCollab site) can immediately create a WordPress site from within a specific UVaCollab site. Please understand that the WordPress site created is free standing outside of UVaCollab, whether you choose to make it public or private - UVaCollab is only used to indicate who should have editing privileges. The advantage of this arrangement is that you can then form a UVaCollab site, and then enroll people there to whom you can grant WordPress editing rights in addition to editing rights to other UVaCollab tools - such as the email list, discussion forum, Wiki, or whatever. Indeed, even if you are the only person who will access the WordPress site, and hence the UVaCollab site is a group of one - you - it is still convenient to have that site easy to access within your list of UVaCollab sites, rather than having to remember a separate URL somewhere else.

Currently, this service is in a pilot phase – which means that we are watching it closely for questions that users may have about it, or for any issues that may arise in association with it. If you have questions, please post them on the WordPress discussion.

Create the Site

You create a WordPress site within UVaCollab by enabling the WordPress tool.

  1. Log in to the UVaCollab site to which you want to add the WordPress tool. Click here to find instructions on creating a UVaCollab worksite and activate the WordPress tool.
  2. The WordPress tool can be found where other tools are in UVaCollab. First click on the Site Info tab on the left side of the page, then click on the Edit Tools tab (top of page) to open a page with all the tools available in UVaCollab. Scroll down in the Edit Tools page until you find WordPress (currently the last option on the list).
  3. Check the box next to WordPress and click Continue to activate the tool. Follow the directions from there and click Finish when prompted.
  4. The tool appears now in your tool list in the left menu.

After creating your WordPress site in UVaCollab, it is possible and recommended that you access your site without going through UVaCollab. Just use the URL of your WordPress site and follow it with /wp-admin.

Example: []

Once the site is created, you can use the WordPress site as you would other UVa WordPress sites, with a few differences described below.

WordPress sites created with the UVaCollab tool automatically registers members of the course or collaborative site with the WordPress site. You do not need to do anything to add users to the site. Any changes you make to the roster will be reflected in the WordPress site whenever you log in to your UVaCollab site.

*Please note: If you have issues with your WordPress site adding new students after your roster has initially synced, please contact us at SHANTI with the name of the WordPress site, a list of the students you need to be added and the role you wish for them to have. We will add them as soon as possible.

As a default, members of the WordPress site have the following WordPress roles:

UVaCollab Course Role UVaCollab Collaboration Role WordPress Site Role
Instructor Owner Administrator
Secondary Instructor
Teaching Assistant
Former Student
Observers Observers (none)

For more information about what WordPress roles mean, see this document from the WordPress site: "Roles and Capabilities."

Changing the Roles of Site Members

Administrators of WordPress sites that are created within UVaCollab may change the default roles of WordPress members by using a special method that makes use of specially named UVaCollab Groups. By adding site members to the groups WP_Author, WP_Editor, and WP_Contributor, instructors modify users' roles on the WordPress site.

Note: Changing user roles on the WordPress site itself will have no effect -- any changes made in this way will be overridden by UVaCollab whenever an Instructor opens up WordPress from within UVaCollab.

If the WP prefixed groups do not already exist on your site, you may create them within them in the following way:

  1. Go to Site Info, and then, from the list of options at the top, select Manage Groups. Then, from the top of the following page, select Create New Group.
  2. Using the information provided in the table below, name the group with the corresponding role that you would like to assign members to and then populate it with the appropriate members.
    • For example, if you want to promote a group of students to the role of WordPress site Editor, then create a group called WP_Editor and place those students in that group. The table below shows the relationship between UVaCollab group names and WordPress roles.
    • You should add members to groups as individuals, and not by role. For example, put each of your students in the group, not Role:Student.
    • *Make sure there are no spaces in your group name. If there is a single trailing space, for example, the permissions will not be set.
  3. Select the WordPress tool (look for the WordPress tab in the gray menu on the left) from within your UVaCollab site to activate the changes.
    • If you have your WordPress site open in another window or tab, close it down first.
    • Please note that there is a 15 minute window for updates to take hold.
UVaCollab Group Name WordPress Role
WP_Author Author
WP_Editor Editor
WP_Contributor Contributor

Here are some qualifications to this scheme:

  • Instructors are always implicitly Administrators. Administrators have administrator, author, editor, and contributor capabilities. An administrator should not add themselves to any of these groups (WP_Author, WP_Editor, or WP_Contributor). Doing so will cause problems in future access to the site. If an administrator, by chance, does add themselves to one of the above groups, they can rectify the problem by going into Manage Groups and removing themselves from the respective WordPress group.
  • If a person appears in two or more groups, that person is given privileges associated with the highest group they are a member of. For example, an Instructor will have an Administrator role even when in a lower group membership, such as WP_Editor.
  • In collaboration sites, observers have no role by default. When they are added to a group, their role will always default to Subscriber.

About Privacy

It is very important to consider the privacy setting of your WordPress site, as it does not follow the same controls that the rest of your UVaCollab site follows. Privacy settings for WordPress must be set manually and independently for each of your WordPress sites. For information on how to configure the privacy of your WordPress site, please consult the document: Understanding Privacy Settings in WordPress.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

It is important to remember that although your WordPress site is configured to "live" inside of UVaCollab, and to by synchronized with course and collaboration site rosters, it is not fully integrated into UVaCollab the way that some other tools are. Given this, here are some "gotchas" to look out for:

  • As described above, your WordPress site is not subject to the same privacy settings as your UVaCollab site. The reason this matters is that your WordPress site is, in principle, accessible from outside of your UVaCollab site as a stand-alone website on the web. It is, therefore, very important to consider the intellectual property and FERPA issues when you put content on your WordPress site, and when you ask your students to do so.
  • Although you may choose to use the WordPress site to add course content, it is important to know that the WordPress site is not connected to the Resources tool and other tools (such as the Kaltura Media Gallery). These resources are not easily added to the WordPress site, although SHANTI and ATG are considering solutions to bridging this gap.
  • You may notice that WordPress allows you to activate a plugin for adding Kaltura videos to your site. This plugin, and the Kaltura account it works with, have nothing to do with each other. For more information, see our help document on Kaltura.

After creating your WordPress site in UVaCollab, it is possible and recommended that you access your WordPress site without going through UVaCollab. Just use the URL of your site and follow it with /wp-admin.

Example: []

What Next?

To learn more about using WordPress in general, consult the documents listed below. You may also post questions on the Knowledge Base Forum.

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